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How to find out answers about things that even Google doesn’t know
Knowledge is power and one the best engines for gaining knowledge in today’s world is Google. The situation is that if you have any query, you just Google it! In good old days, when Google did not exist, if we had a question the best thing would be to look it up in an encyclopedia if you had one. Enterprising knowledge seekers would make a trip to the library but most of the ordinary folk would just accept ignorance.
That changed once Internet came into being and search engines proliferated. While many of them like Astalavista, Lycos, Ask Jeeves are already dead and Yahoo is close to dying, the only one left is Google and it is one of the best things that happened to the Internet.
However, there are some things in the world that even Google doesn’t know. In today’s world knowledge is power and if you don’t know something, you will find yourself without power, job and friends. Knowledge is job security. Knowledge is all and Google is the best source of attaining it.
So what do we do when Google can’t provide a satisfying answer?
Once in while you come across a query which is too new for Google to have indexed. Sometimes it happens that you can’t conjure up proper keywords for Google to throw up answers. Maybe you don’t even have enough information to conduct a Google search. Other times, the information is just too obscure or buried under too many other search results. And then there is the question of Google throwing up multiple conflicting answers for your query.
What do you do in such cases? The best place to turn is crowdsourcing–to ask large numbers of people for their knowledge, beliefs or opinions. The Internet is filled with good samaritans who are ready to give you proper and correct answers. You may have already experienced it first hand that the internet is “made out of people.” And many of them are eager to share their knowledge and ideas as volunteers, asking in return only participation in a community where everybody learns something.
While you can opt for Facebook, Twitter or Google+ for simple queries, they have their limits. If your query is a little complex, there are some platforms where you will get proper answers.
Here are some of the best websites where you can find answers to questions that even Google doesn’t know :
Ask Jelly is one of the best resources for your knowledge quest. Ask Jelly was founded in in 2014 by Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone and lets you ask questions, anonymously, if you like — and get answers from people who should know what they’re talking about.
You can ask anything under the sun and the Jelly crowd will provide you with a proper answer. Ask Jelly also has a Chrome and Firefox extension and as an iPhone app if you are an addictive knowledge seeker. You can use Twitter as well to ask questions to Jelly crowd. All you have to do is append the hashtag #askjelly to a question on Twitter, and Jelly will find and answer it and @-reply with your Twitter handle.
If you can’t frame your question properly, you can also include a picture with your query. For example, if you see an obscure corporate logo, you can take a picture of it, add it to your tweet and ask: “Which company’s logo is this?” Simple UI and straightforward answers make Jelly the best alternative to Google for your queries.
Quora has been around for seven years and is one of the best websites to get answers. Though over the years, Quora has become a bit more complex and navigating it may be a big issue. Quora is available both on the web and as a mobile app. It is a good platform for getting opinionated replies to your queries but if you have objective type queries you should look beyond Quora. Like Wikipedia members can suggest edits and tweaks to both questions and answers.
Ask Hacker News is an extension of Y Combinator which covers technology and tech startups. By heading up a question on the site with “Ask HN,” your question will be treated as a request for crowdsourced answers and the community there usually obliges.
Questions can be upvoted or downvoted by the community and, in general, the more upvotes it gets the more answers it gets. The pros of Ask Hacker News are that it is a great site to ask questions about programming, tech-related jobs, and hard startup questions and cons are that its UI is a little put-off.
But it is one the best sites to get answers if you are a hardcore coder. The best example of how Hacker News might help where Google couldn’t is for questions like “What are the best practices for using SSH keys?” The question got well over 100 replies, almost all of them substantive.
Reddit is one of the best-known examples of crowdsourcing where fellowRedditorss answer your queries. Reddit is a mix of everything because you can post links, comments, questions, photos, videos, and other content. There are as many as 934,408 separate communities, or “subreddits,” on Reddit.
While Reddit is great in terms of reach, it can be a bit overwhelming for new quest seekers. The Redditors jump to downvote anything that is not reasonable according to them. Over the years it has also degraded into posting memes and cat/dog pics. However, it still has great communities like ExplainLikeI’mFive, NoStupidQuestions, OutOfTheLoop, and TooAfraidToAsk.
If you are one of those who isn’t afraid to give back, Reddit can be a great resource for quest seekers.
Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing site in the larger sense of getting large numbers of people to do just about any kind of job or activity. One of these job types is the crowdfunding of research — to discover the answer to a question that has never been answered before. For example: “What’s the best way to describe my business in Spanish” or “How much demand is there in the United States for dog-walking drones?”
To get that kind of information, you post in your role as “Requester” a “Human Intelligence Task,” or HIT. You set the amount of payment you’re willing to pay for the job, and a “Worker” will accept the job. Although you pay “Workers” to do crowdsource jobs, the cost is usually a tiny fraction of what you’d pay a contractor for hire in normal circumstances.
In addition to above, we have Wikipedia, Investopedia and other Wikis for general knowledge and sites like IMDB for movie related queries.
If you are a knowledge seeker, the above are the best options to get the right answer to your query. If you know any such site, mention it in the comments and help other readers of Techworm.